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Come hither, son Jan! since thou art a man,
I'll gi'e the best counsel in life,
Come, sit down by me, and my story shall be,
I'll tell how to get thee a wife.
Iss, I will! man, I will!
Zure I will!
I'll tell how to get thee a wife! Iss, I will!

Thy self thou must dress in thy Sunday-go-best;
They'll first turn away and be shy.
But boldly, kiss each purty maid that thou see'st,
They'll call thee their Love, by-and-bye.
Iss, they will! man, they will!
Zure they will!
They'll call thee their love by-and-bye! Iss, they will!

So a courting Jan goes in his holiday clothes,
All trim, nothing ragged and torn,
From his hat to his hose; with a sweet yellow rose,
He looked like a gentleman born.
Iss, he did! man he did!
Zure he did!
He looked like a gentleman born! Iss he did!

The first pretty lass that Jan did see pass,
A farmer's fat daughter called Grace,
He'd scarce said 'How do?' and a kind word or two,
Her fetched him a slap in the face.
Iss, her did! man, her did!
Zure her did!
Her fetched him a slap in the face! Iss, her did!

As Jan, never fearing o' nothing at all
Was walking adown by the locks.
He kiss'd the parson's wife, which stirred up a strife
And Jan was put into the stocks.
Iss, he was! man, he was!
Zure he was!
And Jan was put into the stocks! Iss, he was!

'If this be the way, how to get me a wife,'
Quoth Jan, 'I will never have none
I'd rather live single the whole of my life
And home to my mammy I'll run.
Iss, I will! man, I will!
Zure I will!
And home to my mammy I'll run! Iss, I will!'

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Source: Songs of the West by S. Baring-Gould.

Notes abridged from S. Baring-Gould.

Words and air from Mr M Rowe, Longabrook, Milton Abbot.
Another set, slightly different, from Mr Crossing. As 'Robin's Courtship' the song was recovered in Somersetshire. It has also been noted in the same county by Mr Sharp as 'William the Rose,' sung to the tune of 'Lillibulero.' It is found in 'The Universal Songster' circ. 1830, as 'Poor Bob.'
In the 'Roxburgh Ballads,' vi. pp. 216-217, is what is probably the earliest form--'Come here my dutiful Son, and take counsel of me.' This was sung to the air 'Grim King of the Ghosts.' Another version is referred to in 'The Beggar's Opera,' Act 111. Sc viii. 'Now Roger I'll tell thee, because thou'rt my son.'
Our tune is more rugged in character. It is in the Aeolian mode.

Roud: 575 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

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